UK Major Ports Group and British Ports Association lay out UK ports reform plan

Port of Felixstowe
Port of Felixstowe

A new ten-point plan has laid out the reforms that can turbo-charge the UK ports industry. Developed by the UK Major Ports Group (UKMPG) in combination with the British Ports Association, it lists a number of changes to planning law and other legislation that will allow ports to invest more quickly and flexibly, and with greater confidence.

Common sense reform of local planning law is central to the plan, to give ports greater ability to invest and grow. Amongst the key proposals are:

  • Redefine “operational land” definition to Increase the scope of permitted development rights within ports to cover more value adding & job creating activities.
  • Making the impact on trade and investment a material consideration in planning decisions
  • Giving masterplans for ports same formal recognition as other local masterplans. Giving them the same weighting in local planning as residential, commercial and some industrial plans already are.
  • Special consideration should be applied to coastal communities in the national planning policy framework, as is already the case for rural communities.
  • Develop pro-trade, pro investment ‘port zones’ around specific ports and their hinterland areas

Tim Morris, CEO of the UK Major Ports Group, said: “Our plan focusses on ten common-sense, pragmatic and practical ways the UK government could create a better environment for ports, for trade and for investment, helping not just the ports themselves but coastal communities all over Britain. With the challenges and opportunities the post-Brexit world presents, we urge ministers to look carefully at these proposals.”